Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks about Divorce for Military Personnel

If you are a military service member or you are married to one, you may have heard the term “military divorce” What you may not know is that while there is not actually a specific type of legal proceeding that is called a military divorce, there are things that make the divorces of service members and their spouses a bit different than divorces that do not involve service members. Some of these things, like whether one of the spouses is on active duty in a location far away from their state of residence, affect how long the divorce will take. Other things, like the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) affect the substance of the divorce settlement.

If you are a service member or you are married to one, it is important that you understand the USFSPA, a federal statute which affects your rights in the event of a divorce. Among other things, it enables states to classify a service member’s military retirement pay as property under some circumstances, instead of income. This classification means that in certain situations, a portion of the service member’s military retirement pay can become part of the collection of marital property which gets divided up in the property settlement of a divorce.

The circumstances which determine whether military retirement pay becomes part of the property settlement in a service member’s divorce is the amount of time that the couple was married during the military spouse’s service career. The rank of the military spouse also factors into the calculation of the amount of retirement pay available to the former spouse.

The unique lifestyle of military families also has an impact on what happens when service members divorce. Spouses of service members who have children are often responsible for a much larger share of the child care and parenting responsibilities than parents who have non-military careers. In families where the non-military parent does not work outside of the home, or works very little due to the amount of time that they devote to parental duties, an award of spousal support may be appropriate. As is the case in all families, the difference in income between the spouses weighs on child support calculations.

Child custody is also a bit different for military families because deployments greatly affect the amount of time that the military parent is available to spend time with their children. Fortunately, divorcing couples are free to create parenting plans that meet the unique needs of their families. Military families are therefore free to design parenting plans that place the children with the non-military parent on a full time basis and provide for liberal parent-child contact when the military parent is not deployed.

While there is not a special type of legal proceeding for military divorces, there are things that make military divorces different than civilian divorces. If you are a service member or the spouse of a service member and you are considering filing for divorce in Mississippi, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is here to help you. Please call us today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks about Divorce for Military Personnel
Mississippi Divorce Attorney discusses divorce for U.S. military service members.